If you suspect you’ve been a target of fraud, the Attorney General’s Office wants you to report it immediately.

“Not only do you protect yourself, but you also protect others from becoming victims by alerting officials,” says Amanda Larkins, Commerce and Consumer Liaison for the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section, who spoke at a meeting hosted by the Volunteers of America Greater Baton Rouge.

Larkins told the audience made up of mostly seniors and residents of Oak Park Plaza Apartments that the best way to fight fraud is to learn how to avoid becoming a victim.  She advises consumers to report a scam or file a complaint by contacting the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800- 351-4889.

Larkins offers the following tips for guarding your finances:

•           Never give your personal information over the phone.

•           Avoid anything that sounds too good to be true.

•           Don’t pay an advance fee to collect a “prize” or winning.

•           Resist high pressure sales tactics.

•           Never assume that you won’t be targeted by scammers.

The Louisiana Attorney General’s Consumer Protection conducts education seminars, training, and workshops on important consumer issues and also focuses on the mediation and investigation of consumer complaints and inquires. Consumers seeking additional information on these or any other business or consumer protection-related topics are encouraged to visit the Attorney General's website at www.agbuddycaldwell.com.

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Coming soon, the attorney's general office seeks to provide a mechanism by which to take online payments for collections.